Motoring can be an expensive thing. Not only do we have to think about the fixed costs associated with actually getting the car, but we also have to deal with the ongoing expense of keeping it maintained, fuelled, and insured.

Insurance costs tend to be particularly difficult to swallow, especially when it isn’t clear what’s driving them. Fortunately, there are ways of minimising the expense. Let’s consider a few of the more effective ones.

Pay your premium annually

It costs insurers more to bill you every month than it does for them to bill you all at once when you renew. If you can afford to do so, it makes sense to pay annually rather than monthly.

Shop around

If you’re willing to shop around for a better deal and look at different car insurance policies, you can hold your insurer’s feet to the fire when you phone them to negotiate. Do this the moment you get your renewal quote, then phone your existing insurer to see whether they will match the quote. It’s easy to jump ship, and doing so might justify the half an hour you might spend on the phone.

Consider extras carefully

Insurance policies vary considerably. It might be that you’re paying for special features and services that you will never really use. If you’re only driving five minutes a day to and from work, then a courtesy car probably isn’t worth the extra cost.

Add another driver to your policy

Sharing your insurance policy with another driver can help to slash the cost for both of you. This goes particularly if you’re both living in the same house. Investigate your options, and talk them through with the other driver you have in mind. Multi-car insurance is an increasingly popular option for British motorists, and it can help to reduce the cost and hassle of renewing.

Build up your no-claims discount

The longer you go without making a claim, the less risk you’ll present to the insurers. This might give you a reason to avoid claiming, even when you could. The no-claims discount can add up substantially over time.

It’s worth noting that your discount might not disappear entirely even if you make a claim and that you can often protect your discount as an optional extra. Whether this is justified will depend on your particular circumstances. In certain edge cases, it’s difficult even for the experts to determine whether it’s worthwhile.

Look at technology

Certain modern innovations, like telemetrics and assistive braking, can help you to avoid your risk and demonstrate to insurers that you’re less of a risk. As such, it can pay for itself in the long run, even if you need to spend a little extra on a more expensive new car.